Jerry Jones isn’t going to add any logs to the fire of Jason Garrett criticism after the Cowboys’ clock-management crisis in Sunday’s loss.
“That’s just second-guessing,” Jones said during his Tuesday appearance on KRLD-FM. “I’m just not going to do that, because I want Jason to draw on his reservoir and make those kinds of decisions.”
Jones, who criticized Garrett’s conservative play-calling after a road loss to the New England Patriots earlier this season, refrained from offering his opinion about the coach’s use of timeouts immediately after the overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. After two nights of sleep, Jones expressed support for Garrett, who opted to settle for a 49-yard field goal at the end of regulation instead of calling a timeout with 26 seconds remaining and then essentially iced his own kicker with a timeout.
“I’m not going to second-guess those timeouts at all,” Jones said. “We lost that game in my mind because early in the ballgame we didn’t take advantage of great field position. When you let them hang around like that, you’ve got a good chance to basically pay the price. That’s what we did late in the ballgame.”
Kicker Dan Bailey, whose miss from 53 yards in the first quarter ended a rookie-record streak of 26 consecutive field goals made, drilled what would have been the game-winning attempt. But that kick didn’t count due to Garrett signaling for the timeout as the play clock ticked down just before the snap. Bailey’s ensuing attempt fell short.
Jones said the attempt was well within Bailey’s range, but he acknowledged the percentages would have increased significantly if the Cowboys could have moved the ball another 10 yards or so. However, Jones said he understood that Garrett didn’t want to risk having a negative play, noting that left guard Montrae Holland had a false start penalty earlier in the series.
“My point is, sleeping on this thing a couple of nights, I’m OK with how we’re doing there,” Jones said. “I understand the process that Jason went through. I understand the process that we were going through as far as how he was getting his input. That’s sound, well thought out. When you get down to the actual decision, yes or no, we’re going to leave that in his hands.”
Jones is upset and frustrated that the Cowboys failed to seize an opportunity a tremendous opportunity. A win would have given the Cowboys a two-game lead over the New York Giants in the NFC East and a chance to clinch the division title at home Sunday night.
“I’m very sick,” Jones said. “For us to have been in that spot to begin with was very disappointing. I hoped, we all hoped for us to go out there and have been in better shape to go play the Giants.”